Visit to the Crystal Cove State Park – Beach & Kids’ activities

Maruska —  August 10, 2017
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If you are looking for something fun to do with the kids on Wednesdays, I have something for you. This outing was a great combination of activities: beach, tide pooling, crafts, painting, board games, and a visit to a couple of historic cottages including cottage 22, the park and marine research facility.


  • The Education Commons at the Crystal Cove State Park’s Historic District comes to life every Wednesday with free art classes, historical games, sea glass wrapping, dance classes, a water coloring station, board games and more!
  • Activities vary each Wednesday but it seems that the sea glass wrapping (see picture), which is my favorite activity, is held every week.
  • Make sure to visit Marine Research Facility. They have binoculars for the kids to look for marine mammals, microscopes to examine plankton, stations to learn about Abalone, and more. 
  • There is also a great tide pool area on the left side of the beach for everyone to explore.
  • We probably spent one hour and a half enjoying the activities and tide pooling.
  • All the activities are free.
  • By the way, Ruby’s Shake Shack is walking distance from the beach. You just need to walk up the stairs close to the Beachcomber

For more information about the activities at the Education Commons activities, click here.


  • Most activities are held between 10am and 4pm on Wednesdays during the summer months.
  • The Marine Research Facility is only open between 11:30am and 2:30pm.


  • I have been told that the other beaches in Crystal Cove are more secluded but I picked this beach so that we could enjoy activities other than sunbathing and swimming.
  • The Historic District is also one of the beaches with the best body surfing and the best swimming area.
  • The Beachcomber café is at this beach as well, but make sure to make reservations if you want to eat there.
  • I opted for their Beachcomber Express that offers snacks, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and more! No reservations needed here.
  • So overall this beach gets a big thumbs up from me.


Activities are free. Parking is $15 and it is the only parking option you have.  If you purchase food at the beach for a value of $15 or more they comp the parking for three hours. Each additional hour after the 3 hours will cost $5.00 per hour up to a maximum of $15.00 per day.


  • Park at the Los Trancos parking lot located on the east side of PCH. Park as close as you can to the “Beach Access” sign.
  • To get to the beach you can take a shuttle for $1.50 (12 and under are free).
  • You can also easily walk to the beach. The path to the beach is all paved (no steps) and downhill and it takes you less than 5 minutes to get there. Coming back is a different story because the kids are tired and now it is all uphill. So I left the kids with my friend, took the shuttle, got the car, and then picked the kids up right next to the beach at their drop off area. You can obviously use the drop off area when you get there as well.


The address is 8471 Pacific Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651. To help you locate the Los Trancos Lot, click here.